The geographer and cartographer Blaž Kocen was born in 1821 in the village of Hotunje. After finishing high school and lyceum in Graz, he continued his studies in theology in Klagenfurt. As chaplain, he served in various places in Lower Styria until 1850, after which he began working as a teacher, first in Celje, then in Ljubljana, Gorica and at the very end, in Olomouc in the Moravska region. During the entire period, he was greatly engaged in the didactics of geography and wrote several school books, but he is most famous for his atlases. His first atlas which was published in 1861 is his most famous work. A total of a few million copies of this atlas was published, with nearly 300 editions and reprints in many languages. Kocen was also the author of many wall maps and other smaller maps, but only few of them have been preserved. These maps were published in the German, Hungarian, Czech, Polish and other languages. The quality of his works is most visible in the fact that despite technical progress, his works continued to be used many decades after his death.
A memorial commemorates Blaž Kocen, the great man of Slovenia, located alongside the commemorative house in his birthplace of Hotunje near Ponikva, which was erected by the Association of Slovene Geographers in 1972. The primary school in Ponikva also bears his name since 1975. Recently, interest in Kocen and his work is growing. In 2007, the institution Slovenska matica organized an international symposium on Blaž Kocen and published a collection of scientific papers. In the same year, the Municipality of Šentjur published a booklet about him, which was authored by Professor Rožle Bratec Mrvar. The Debelak family built a small wooden house on the site of the house in Hotunje where Kocen was born. In 2009, the Tourist Embellishment Society of Ponikva opened a permanent exhibition on the life and work of Blaž Kocen.
A hike and a professional meeting in the field of geography are held every March, within the scope of Kocen’s Saturday.
- by car: About 1 km before the railway crossing, turn left towards the village of Hotunje. After 1 km, a marked path will lead you to a straw-covered wooden house where the commemorative room is located.
- by train: from the railway station in Ponikva, walk along the marked, “Path of Three Famous Men from Ponikva” towards Hotunje and the commemorative room, which takes about 20 minutes on foot.
By previous appointment.
Entry fee: 1 €, discount for groups.
- TOD Ponikva, Ponikva 50, Telefon: 00386 31 704 980; e-pošta: firstname.lastname@example.org